Cirencester’s ex-Woolworths: a window on the rise of discounters

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via and Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

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6 Responses

  1. No sign of Next moving back to Cirencester yet Graham.
    Though an Apple shop (in the form of Western Computers) has opened in the premises vacated by GAME and Joules has opened in the Market Place – so things could be on the up?

    Empty retail units continue to be occupied quite quickly in Cirencester, which is encouraging, but it remains to be seen whether the shops moving in are what the shoppers of Cirencester want and need.
    But there are units which remain empty such as those vacated by Clinton Cards, Blacks and Thorntons.

    The Cirencester Shopping website ( keeps people up-to-date with the changing face of retail in Cirencester and independent shops such as M.A.D.E., Jungle and R Scott have grasped the opportunity to promote their shops through one central website, but many businesses and shoppers continue to complain that parking charges are causing people to think twice about visiting the town centre.

  2. Graham Soult says:

    Thanks Ian – most interesting! Did I hear somewhere that Next has moved back, though?

  3. Ian Spittle says:

    The Cirencester store had a further extension to the rear, and a yard/garden centre, which were demolished as part of the subdivision work. A fee has been agreed prior to autumn 2008 for the return of these parts to the landlord, who also own the King’s Head hotel, which is still undergoing renovation. We took alot of money from gardening products, even when the buyers decided not to range things like spades and fertiliser.

    Prior to Poundland, it had been announced that M & Co would take over the larger unit, and they had even submitted extensive renovation plans, including a second sales floor, but I’ve never found out why, or when that fell through.

    Since you visited, Clintons, Game and Millets all closed following their administrations, whilst Thorntons and Stead & Simpson currently have store closing signs up. All while the council is introducing overnight and Sunday parking charges, and plans appear to be slowly developing for more out of town shopping, possibly includinh Aldi and Home Bargains.

  4. Will Ryles says:

    You have to wonder if the future of the high street is cheap high volume product.

    My worry is, by focusing on this lower end of the market are our city centers going to become more associated with “cheap and nasty” thus driving away the big spenders and encouraging the middle classes into retail parks or online?!

  1. May 15, 2012

    […] is remarkably similar to other 1930s Woolworths that I’ve blogged about before, such as the store from a few years earlier in Cirencester or the one not far from here in Bishop Auckland. Former Woolworths (now BrightHouse), Fleetwood […]

  2. July 2, 2012

    […] in the sector, however, the picture is quite different. As I reported in April, the discounter Mountain Warehouse is thriving, having added more than 100 high-street stores in […]

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